three-wise-men-750277I remember working on a car stereo back in my high school days. They were projects that I would enjoy; modifying the dashboard for the new stereo, running wires to the fuse panel, speakers, and amplifier. After a couple of hours of painstaking work, the moment of truth came. I turned the car on and then turned the stereo on, except nothing happened. No lights, no sound, nothing! I went back over everything, double checking my power connection, the speaker connections and could not find where I went wrong. Why was this not working, I was sure that everything was hooked up right. Well, a couple more hours passed by of fiddling with it, walking away from it, even having conversations with it, more like arguing with it. Then the epiphany, my Aha moment came.

For those who know about electricity, you will understand. On the wiring diagram, I saw a black wire that seemed to just go to the car, but not connected to anything. So, I didn’t connect it. Well, this black wire is the ground wire and without it connected to anything, more importantly to the cars frame, no power would go into the stereo, hence, nothing happened. I finally realized my error, I saw clearly this project in a new light and after properly connecting the ground wire, the stereo started, and I once again had music. These Aha or epiphany moments happen throughout our lives.

In our scripture lesson from this past Sunday, we are heard about the three wise men. This Sunday is called the Epiphany of the Lord and it marks the day when Jesus Christ is manifested to the Gentiles, represented by the wise men. That is the church’s definition of Epiphany. The wise men come and encounter Jesus Christ and are changed, they have an epiphany moment, an Aha moment, and are changed, how can you not be? I can’t imagine anyone encountering Jesus Christ and not being changed in one way or another.

These wise men, or magi, have come from the east and are searching for the child born to be the Messiah. When they finally found the place where Jesus was born, what did they do, what was their response to their encounter with Jesus? Worship! They presented the child with gifts and bowed down to worship him. They were changed, like the others were changed, but in a much different way. Their lives were dramatically altered because of this encounter. Their lives changed direction. It is said that they returned home, but not by the same path. Herod was waiting for them down the original return trip, but they were new men with new lives. They no longer lived like they used to. The song “Thanks to Calvary” by the Cathedrals speaks about the changing nature of encounters with Jesus Christ. Here is one of the lines from the song; “Thanks to Calvary, I am not that man I used to be, thanks to Calvary, things are different than before.” An encounter with Jesus Christ changes everything. When the change happens, we don’t want to live like we used to anymore. We don’t want to take that trip back down the same path which brings pain and misery. The wise men didn’t want to travel back home by the path which led to Herod, they wanted to go another direction.

Have you encountered Jesus Christ? Have your lives been changed by the Christ child who brought light to this world? It is a very real question, a question that needs an answer. Other questions arise from this, why are we here? Who are we? Who am I?

If you have encountered Jesus, what was your response? Were you hostile towards his calling for change in your life? Were you indifferent, looking more towards what you are doing here in this building than to a relationship with Jesus? Or were you joyful, worshiping God for the change he has brought into your life?

One of my epiphany moments in this life came while working on that stereo so long ago. It came when I realized that the stereo needed to be grounded in order to work. It needed to be connected to the foundation, the frame of the car, otherwise nothing was ever going to be heard. Another epiphany comes today, as I realize that God’s message will never be heard unless we are grounded in our foundation, our relationship with Jesus Christ. Is your ground wire connected? Are you receiving the power you need to face your day, your circumstances, your life?

If not, how do you plan on getting connected? Attending worship, studying the bible, spending time in prayer are all good ways to get connected. Will you strive to connect today?

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